EXCLUSIVE | By Chelsea correspondent Tony Hughes
The Chelsea axe is hovering over Cesc Fabregas following his poor start to the season, Football Insider sources understand.
Manager Jose Mourinho is weighing up whether to drop the Spaniard as he attempts to rectify his team’s appalling start to the new season.
Mourinho is set to have more midfield options available for Wednesday’s Champions League opener against Maccabi Tel Aviv, with Oscar and Ramires in contention to return.
The Brazilian duo missed the trip to Everton last weekend, which Chelsea lost 3-1 to extend their woeful start to the new campaign in which they have accumulated just four points from five Premier League matches.
Sources have told Football Insider that Fabregas’ faltering form is considered a growing problem by Mourinho and the manager is now considering axing one of the shining lights in the team’s 2014-15 title-winning team.
Fabregas began last season in scintillating fashion following his £30million transfer from Barcelona but his form petered out in the final months of the campaign and he has been ineffective to date this season.
The 28-year-old started all five of the champions’ Premier League fixtures but was substituted for the second time this season at Everton.
His passing statistics and the number of chances he is creating are markedly down on 12 months ago and he has yet to assist a goal in 2015-16. This comes after he topped the Premier League assists chart with 18 last season.
Football Insider revealed on Sunday that Arsene Wenger, who managed Fabregas for eight years at Arsenal, believes the 96-cap international has already peaked.
The form of Diego Costa, John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic and Eden Hazard has also come under the microscope as Mourinho tries to breathe new life into Chelsea’s season.
To drop Cesc Fabregas and any of the other central figures in last season’s title success would demonstrate that Mourinho’s patience has finally snapped with his regulars.